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Lyndon B. Johnson China: Flowers Take Center Stage

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

lyndon johnson

LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON (1908-1973)
OUR 36TH PRESIDENT (1963-1969)

Ever since James Monroe occupied the White House, it has become a tradition for most American presidents to outfit the official dining rooms with their own versions of White House China. It isn’t simply a matter of vanity. Over the decades our presidents and first ladies have hosted an increasing number of state guests. And we all know that china which gets used, eventually gets broken.

By the time President Lyndon Johnson and his wife Lady Bird had been in residence a couple of years, it became clear that new china was needed once again. It was 1967, and no new full set of Official White House China had been ordered since 1951, when Harry Truman was President. The First Lady, Lady Bird, took the lead. In fact, she played a more hands-on role than many of her predecessors, working closely with designers and the manufacturer every step of the way.

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BEAUTIFUL HAND-PAINTED SERVICE PLATE FROM THE LYNDON B. JOHNSON OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - DESIGNED BY TIFFANY AND COMPANY AND  MANUFACTURED BY CASTLETON CHINA - PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

Lenox had been the manufacturer of choice for most presidents in the 20th century, once Woodrow and Edith made the momentous switch to an American company. However, Lady Bird Johnson turned to the famous designers at Tiffany and Company of New York City for help creating the Johnson Official White House China.

The design combines America’s most enduring symbol – the federal eagle -- with Lady Bird’s signature initiative as First Lady, known as “beautification.” Her renowned efforts to honor the diverse beauty of our country and to improve the appearance of roadways and other public places are reflected in the wildflowers that decorate the Johnson Official White House China collection. The result is a set of White House China that look quite different from other Presidential collections.

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THE HAND-PAINTED DESSERT PLATES - AS DISPLAED ON THE RIGHT - FROM THE JOHNSON'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION FEATURE EACH OF THE 50 STATES' OFFICIAL FLOWERS

Dinner plates and bowls are bordered with a variety of American wildflowers – over 40 in all -- hand-painted by well-known artist Andre Piette. This process was so time-consuming the china service wasn’t completed until 1972, well after the Johnsons had left office. Dessert plates feature each of the 50 states’ official flowers, one in center of each plate. And all plates are trimmed with a narrow border of raised gold dots. The eagle motif reflects the eagle used by President Monroe, appearing at the top center in the border of dinner plates and on the center of service plates.

lady bird johnson

LADY BIRD JOHNSON HAD A FONDNESS FOR FLOWERS, WHICH INSPIRED HER "BEAUTIFICATION" THEME FOR AMERICA

Tiffany’s designers produced actual plates with different designs for Lady Bird Johnson to review during the design process. A total of 2,208 finished pieces were manufactured by Castleton China of New Castle, Pennsylvania. The company reportedly destroyed numerous pieces during the manufacturing process before they achieved 250 approved place settings. The china was first used at an official dinner for Australian Prime Minister John Gorton.

The Lyndon B, Johnson service marks the first time official state china was not purchased with government funds. Both Tiffany and Castleton absorbed some of the cost, and the remainder was paid by an anonymous donor.

lyndon b johnson china

VERSO INSCRIPTION ON THE JOHNSON'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION

When the exquisite new china was unveiled to the American public, Anthony Ostrom, manager of Tiffany’s in Chicago, noted one thing was missing. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he pointed to the fact that the state flowers were not identified on the backs of the dessert plates. “Nobody knows what they are,” he lamented.

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for more than 35 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: George W. Bush

George W. Bush: The First "Two-China Policy"

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

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GEORGE W. BUSH (1946)
OUR 43RD PRESIDENT (2001-2009)

Was it an unfortunate delay or clever timing that caused the Official George W. Bush White House China to arrive just two weeks before President Bush left office? At the time, First Lady Laura Bush told reporters, “These have been in the works for several years, and it took longer than we thought.” But some White House watchers suggest the last-minute unveiling – on January 7, 2009 -- helped avoid media questions about the cost, as the Reagans were also subjected to.

In fact, George and Laura Bush were the only First Couple in history to employ what punsters at the Washington Post called a “two-china policy.” Not only did Laura commission a new 320-piece set of state china (at a cost of just under $500,000 - at no cost to the American tax payer), she ordered an entirely different set of dishes for use exclusively in the residential dining room on the second floor of the White House. Previous presidents and their families and personal guests always dined off the same dinnerware as official state visitors.

BUSH WHITE HOUSE CHINA

STUNNING SERVICE PLATE, FROM THE GEORGE W. BUSH OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION, FEATURES A GREEN CROSS-HATCHED PATTERN DERIVED FROM THE MADISON FAMILY CHINA - MANUFACTURED BY LENOX
SEE MORE OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA HERE.

Those 75 private residence place settings cost an additional $75,000. Both dinnerware sets were paid for by the White House Historical Association Acquisition Trust, again, at no cost to the American tax payer.

The First Lady chose Lenox, often considered America’s leading manufacturer of fine china, to create the official tableware for use in the State Dining Room and the East Room. This was the first full set of White House China commissioned since 1982, and it was badly needed. The George W. Bush administration had only the Reagan and Clinton dishes to choose from, if state dinners totaled 134 people and matching dishes were required.

BUSH WHITE HOUSE CHINA

VERSO INSCRIPTION ON THE DISHES FROM THE BUSH'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION

The Bush collection plates are bordered in a soft shade of green with basket-weave pattern and a circle of laurel leaves, inspired by the pattern on James and Dolley Madison’s personal dinnerware. There is a gold eagle in the center, the motif taken from an eagle inlay in a sideboard once owned by Daniel Webster. Chargers in the set state “The White House 2008 Lenox, made in the U.S.A.” on the verso. Mrs. Bush worked with the White House floral designer to choose the colors. They chose muted green instead of the usual bold colors, because it would complement any type of flower arrangement. Mrs. Bush also liked the fact that the color would coordinate nicely at Christmas.

BUSH WHITE HOUSE CHINA

FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH INTRODUCING THE TIMELESS BUSH OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA PATTERN

The Bush White House China made its debut at a luncheon held to honor United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. President George and Laura hardly had a chance to enjoy their new china, however, having used “old” dinnerware throughout their time at the White House. Later, Laura Bush revealed that her husband’s favorites were Lady Bird Johnson’s dishes that featured American wildflowers, whereas she was most partial to the red-bordered Reagan china.

For the smaller residential (not Offical White House China) china service, Mrs. Bush chose Pickard China, another American manufacturer. These dishes were designed by Hungarian-born Anna Weatherly, and they were hand-painted in Hungary by her own craftspeople. Large magnolia blossoms honor a magnolia tree which has been part of the White House landscape since Andrew Jackson’s day. It is believed to be the oldest tree on the White House lawn.

bush white house china

MANUFACTURED BY PICKARD, THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE EVERYDAY (NOT OFFICAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA) CHINA SELECTED BY FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH AS EXPLAINED ABOVE THIS IMAGE

RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for more than 35 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China and Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

 

Tags: George W. Bush

George W. Bush: An Old Dog learning New Tricks

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

What do you do for an encore after you’ve been President of the United States? While some former presidents have chosen to stay in the national or international spotlight working on any number of projects, others have preferred to move into a quieter, less public life. George W. Bush took up oil painting as a way to augment the outdoor sports activities he loves, such as biking and golf.

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PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH WITH AMERICA'S FIRST LADY LAURA WELCH BUSH

President Bush says he was inspired by try painting after he read an essay on art written by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. His intention was to develop a new personal avocation, and he began to take lessons in painting with oils, a particularly difficult medium. He painted a variety of subjects, including a dog, a watermelon, a horse and a golf course scene. He also painted a cat that belonged to his famous mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush.

The former president also tried out a few more “risqué” subjects, painting self-portraits of himself in the bathtub (only his legs) and in the shower (only his back). He said the bathroom paintings were done to “shock” his art teacher. He also painted a portrait of his wife, Laura, who was reportedly less than enthusiastic about the result. His response? “Never paint your wife or mother.”

Our 43rd President’s new painting career received public attention when a hacker tapped into the email account of his sister, Dorothy Bush Koch, hijacking copies of the “bathroom” paintings. They went viral. No surprise.

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A PRISTINE PIECE OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA AS SELECTED BY GEORGE W. BUSH AND THE FIRST LADY

Meanwhile, George Bush continues to paint, creating a collection of portraits of 30 world leaders with whom he had dealings – some quite notorious – while serving his two terms as President. The collection was unveiled in a showing at the George W. Bush Library and Museum in Dallas, open to the public from April through June of 2014. The exhibition was entitled “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” because Bush always said he believed in the power of diplomacy in addressing the world’s problems.

Using Google Images as inspiration, he painted former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Afghan president Hamid Karzai as part of the collection. Perhaps his most talked-about painting was of Vladimir Putin, the former Russian president who is back in power and recapturing headlines today.

Art critics and political journalists have commented freely on the Putin portrait. Alistair Cooke of The Guardian described it as “unconventional and compelling,” and Adam Taylor of the Washington Post said, “I’d argue that it is a really good painting aesthetically. What’s really fascinating is to watch Bush grapple with the identity of Putin, a man he once claimed to understand well.”

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GEORGE W. BUSH ENJOYS OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS GOLFING, WITH HIS CLOSE-KNIT FAMILY

More recently, George Bush unveiled an oil painting of himself and his father, former president George H. W. Bush. Bush the younger said, “I was very proud to be standing next to a man I admire greatly.” He wanted to depict his father’s “gentle soul,” but he admitted he had particular difficulty getting the noses just right as he painted.

Noting that it isn’t easy being a former President, Bush has been quoted as saying, “You get this sense of longing that you remain stimulated.” He says his oil painting hobby has help him fill that void. However future historians choose to remark on George Bush’s painting talent, it seems he has fulfilled his dream of becoming a well-known portrait painter.

Raleigh_in_Library_small_72

RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired numerous pieces of official White House china. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is the first or second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

BUY, SHARE, OR TRADE WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: George W. Bush

WHAT DID PRESIDENT GEORGE W.BUSH SPEND ON WHITE HOUSE CHINA?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 @ 03:54 PM

The White House China of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush is offered in this Important Presentation.

laura bush,rlaeigh degeer amyxFIRST LADY LAURA BUSH PRESENTS THE OFFICIAL CHINA OF LAURA AND GEORGE BUSH JUST NINE DAYS BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF PRESIDENT-ELECT BARAK OBAMA AND MICHELE OBAMA

Total Press Scrutiny was avoided by President George W. Bush, with the Intriguing late arrival date of the 2009 Official White House China, by Lenox, Inc. By arriving during the George W. Bush Administration, with only 9 days to go until Inauguaration Day - January 20, 2009, Near Total Press Attention was Focused on Barack and Michelle Obama, as opposed to Scrutinizing each and everything that the Overzealous Press seem to specialize in – that being -  looking hither and yon for every tidbit of Bush activities that the Press thought it was their duty to dig up - even if their attention might better be focused on more Important Domestic and International matters. But, when all was said and done the President and First Lady spent zero tax-payer dollars on this Half-Million Dollar Porcelain purchase. All 320 Official State Dinner Pieces were bought and paid for by Donations from Friends of President George W. Bush.

bush white house china,raleigh degeer amyxTHE SOPHISTICATED 2009 OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA OF PRESDENT GEORGE W. BUSH


A Total of 320 Sophisticated State Dinner Pieces of Porcelain Mysteriously arrived on January 7, 2009 –  A mere 13 days before the arrival of President-Elect Barack Obama.  The total cost was $492,798.00 - A Half-Million Dollars! A Brilliant exit manuever on the part of President Bush - And the Permanent White House China Collection was Immensely Enhanced!



george bush white house china,raleigh degeer amyx

A CLOSE-UP VIEW OF VARIOUS SERVING PIECES OF THIS IMPORTANT ADDITION TO THE WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION BY PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH & FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH

The Inspiration of the overall design of The White House China, with the close Collaboration of First Lady Laura Bush, was believed to have come from the Inspiration of our 4th Presidential Founding Father - James Madison, with the touches of First Lady Dolley Madison.

george w. bush white house china,raleigh degeer amyx collectionOFFICIAL VERSO MARKINGS ON EACH OF THE 32O WHITE HOUSE CHINA PIECES AS SELECTED BY FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH

 

president george w. bush adn first lady laura bush,raleigh degeer amyxPRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH BOARDING AIR FORCE ONE

Generally, all photos presented by the writer come from the Collection of Raleigh DeGeer Amyx also known as The American Heritage Collection.  However, in this particular case and with the assistance of The White House Curator, Bill Allman, most photos presented here are because of the Special Courtesy of The White House.

raleigh degeer amyx HISTORIAN & COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX 2010

 

Tags: White House China, The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, The American Heritage Collection, George W. Bush

WHITE HOUSE CHINA - WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - GEORGE W. BUSH

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 @ 03:17 PM

The White House China of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush is offered in this Important Presentation.

laura bush,rlaeigh degeer amyxFIRST LADY LAURA BUSH PRESENTS THE OFFICIAL CHINA OF LAURA AND GEORGE BUSH JUST NINE DAYS BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF PRESIDENT-ELECT BARAK OBAMA AND MICHELE OBAMA

Total Press Scrutiny was avoided by President George W. Bush, with the Intriguing late arrival date of the 2009 Official White House China, by Lenox, Inc. By arriving during the George W. Bush Administration, with only 9 days to go until Inauguaration Day - January 20, 2009, Near Total Press Attention was Focused on Barack and Michelle Obama, as opposed to Scrutinizing each and everything that the Overzealous Press seem to specialize in – that being -  looking hither and yon for every tidbit of Bush activities that the Press thought it was their duty to dig up - even if their attention might better be focused on more Important Domestic and International matters. But, when all was said and done the President and First Lady spent zero tax-payer dollars on this Half-Million Dollar Porcelain purchase. All 320 Official State Dinner Pieces were bought and paid for by Donations from Friends of the President George W. Bush.

bush white house china,raleigh degeer amyxTHE SOPHISTICATED 2009 OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA OF PRESDENT GEORGE W. BUSH


A Total of 320 Sophisticated State Dinner Pieces of Porcelain Mysteriously arrived on January 7, 2009 –  A mere 13 days before the arrival of President-Elect Barack Obama.  The total cost was $492,798.00 - A Half-Million Dollars! A Brilliant exit manuever on the part of President Bush - And the Permanent White House China Collection was Immensely Enhanced!



george bush white house china,raleigh degeer amyx

A CLOSE-UP VIEW OF VARIOUS SERVING PIECES OF THIS IMPORTANT ADDITION TO THE WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION BY PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH & FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH

The Inspiration of the overall design of The White House China, with the close Collaboration of First Lady Laura Bush, was believed to have come from the Inspiration of our 4th Presidential Founding Father - James Madison, with the touches of First Lady Dolley Madison.

george w. bush white house china,raleigh degeer amyx collectionOFFICIAL VERSO MARKINGS ON EACH OF THE 32O WHITE HOUSE CHINA PIECES AS SELECTED BY FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH

 

president george w. bush adn first lady laura bush,raleigh degeer amyxPRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH BOARDING AIR FORCE ONE

Generally, all photos presented by the writer come from the Collection of Raleigh DeGeer Amyx also known as The American Heritage Collection.  However, in this particular case and with the assistance of The White House Curator, Bill Allman, most photos presented here are because of the Special Courtesy of The White House.

raleigh degeer amyx HISTORIAN & COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX 2010

Tags: White House China, The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection, The American Heritage Collection, George W. Bush

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